Thane: 23-year-old Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, the mastermind of the multi-crore extortion racket run by a Mira Road call centre against gullible American clients, was an unusual man.
According to a report in Mid Day, what made Shaggy so different is that at his young age, he had gifted a Rs 2.5 crore Audi R8 to his 21-year-old girlfriend on her birthday.
The tabloid quoted police officers as saying that Shaggy owned many high-end cars and had purchased the Audi from Ahmedabad. They have no idea as to the whereabouts of his girlfriend at present.
Police have arrested some of Shaggy’s school friends, who were also allegedly involved in the racket. They said Shaggy frequently talked about the gift to his girlfriend.
Sagar also has a huge business in Dubai which he used to fund his extortion racket, police said.
An officer of US security agency FBI arrived in Thane on Friday and gathered and shared details about the probe into the multi-crore call centre scam, whose victims lost millions of dollars.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officer met senior officers of Thane Police and exchanged information gathered by both the sides about the scam which was unearthed earlier this month.
“We will verify the information which the FBI has shared with us. It will help in our investigation. The FBI team also appreciated our efforts (in uncovering the scam),” Joint
Commissioner of Police Ashutosh Dumbre told PTI.
The FBI officer will be in Thane for a few more days and will question those arrested in connection with the scam, police sources said.
Police have issued a Look out circular (LOC) to nab Sagar Thakkar, who operated out of nearly a dozen call centres where executives posed as US tax authorities and duped a large number of American citizens.
Crime Branch teams are also looking for Thakkar and authorities at the international borders, airports and sea ports have been alerted to thwart his attempt to leave the country, said Dumbre.
Police unearthed the scam, involving more than Rs 500 crore, after raiding seven call centres on Mira Road. The con job, which targeted US citizens and forced them to part with dollars, had been going on for a few months, he added.
The daily transactions of the seven call centres stood at around Rs 1.5 crore. After the raids, police shut down four more call centres in Thane where the daily transaction was about Rs 50 lakh, said the Joint Commissioner of Police.